Chicago Maroons Football
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Chicago Maroons Football
Chicago Maroons football
Chicago Maroons logo.svg
First season 1892
Athletic director Erin McDermott
Head coach Chris Wilkerson
3rd season, 14-5 (.737)
Stadium New Stagg Field
(Capacity: 1,650)
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Chicago, Illinois
Conference Midwest Conference
All-time record 416-368-34 (.529)
Claimed nat'l titles 2 (1905, 1913)
Conference titles 12
Heisman winners 1
Consensus All-Americans 12
Current uniform
Colors Maroon and White[1]
Fight song Wave the Flag
Mascot Phil the Phoenix

The Chicago Maroons football represents the University of Chicago in college football. The Maroons, which play in NCAA Division III, are football-only member of the Midwest Conference starting with the 2017 season.[2] From 1892 to 1939, the Maroons were a major college football power. The University of Chicago was a founding member of the Big Ten Conference and the Maroons were coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg, one of the game's pioneers, for 41 seasons. In 1935, halfback Jay Berwanger became the first recipient of the Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later known as the Heisman Trophy. Nonetheless, in the late 1930s, university president Robert Maynard Hutchins decided that big-time college football and the university's commitment to academics were not a good fit.[3] The University of Chicago abolished its football program in 1939 and withdrew from the Big Ten in 1946. Football returned to the University of Chicago in 1963 in the form of a club team, which was upgraded to varsity status in 1969. The Maroons began competing in Division III in 1973.


The team's name derived from coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, who decided that their needed to be a change in their color, which was goldenrod, with Stagg pointing out how the color soiled easily. On May 5, 1894, students and faculty met at a meeting to determine the official color and nickname, with the result being the Maroons. The program began play in 1892, with coach Amos Alonzo Stagg at the helm, which he would serve for until 1933. The Maroons spent their first four seasons as an independent, with 1894 being a highlight year in which they went 10-7-1. They joined the Big Ten Conference in 1896. In 1899, they won their first ever Big Ten title, going 12-0-2 in regular play and 4-0 in conference play. Stagg formed a squad that would be fairly consistent for a quarter of a century, with the Maroons winning seven conference titles from 1899 to 1924, while managing to have four seasons in which they did not lose a game. Stagg retired from Chicago after the 1932 season, in which he went 3-4-1 (1-4) for the University of Pacific. Clark Shaughnessy took over as coach in 1933. In his seven seasons there, he led them to two .500 seasons, but no finish above 6th in the conference. In 1936, they beat Wisconsin 7-6. As it turned out, this was their last win as a Big Ten member. The team disbanded in 1939. Chicago became a team again to start the 1969 season. The team struggled for a few years, not getting to .500 until 1976 with a 4-4 record and not getting above .500 until 1985. The first few decades were marked by losing, with four winless seasons occurring from 1973 to 1991. In 1994, Dick Maloney was hired as coach of the team. His 1995 team won eight games while only losing two, the most wins in a seasons since coming back as a team. In 1998, the Maroons won the UAA conference title, winning all four conference games. The Maroons won three more conference titles in Maloney's tenure until his retirement in 2012. Chris Wilkerson was hired as coach in 2013. In his second season, he led them to a UAA title.

Conference affiliations

Year Conference
1892-1895 Independent
1896-1939 Big Ten Conference
1940-1962 No team
1963-1968 Club team
1969-1972 Independent
1973-1975 Division III Independent
1976-1987 Midwest Collegiate Athletic Conference
1988-1989 Division III Independent
1990-2016 University Athletic Association
2015-2016 Southern Athletic Association
2017-present Midwest Conference[4]

Division history

Year Division
1937-1939 NCAA (Major College)
1940-1962 No team
1963-1968 Club team
1969-1972 NCAA College Division
1973-present NCAA Division III


  • Most Wins: 16 (1899)
  • Most Losses: 10 (1991)
  • Most Ties: 3 (1924)

National championships

Chicago lays claim to two national championships. Although they do not compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, they maintain claims to titles won at the highest level at the time.

Conference championships

Chicago has won twelve conference championships, seven in the Big Ten Conference and five in the University Athletic Association. [5][6]

All-Time Record Against Current Big Ten Members


School Wins Losses Ties %
Illinois 19 22 3 .466
Indiana 20 4 1 .789
Iowa 9 3 2 .714
Maryland* 1 0 0 1.000
Michigan 7 19 0 .269
Michigan State* 1 0 0 1.000
Minnesota 5 12 1 .306
Nebraska* 1 1 0 .500
Northwestern 26 8 3 .743
Ohio State 2 10 2 .214
Penn State* 0 0 0 N/A
Purdue 27 14 1 .655
Rutgers* 0 0 0 N/A
Wisconsin 16 19 5 .463

Note: Michigan State, Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers were not members of the Big Ten when Chicago was a member.

Notable personnel

College Football Hall of Fame

Name Position Tenure Inducted Notes
Jay Berwanger Halfback 1933-1935 1954 First recipient of the Heisman Trophy
Hugo Bezdek Fullback 1905 1954 Inducted for his career as a coach at Oregon, Arkansas, and Penn State
Fritz Crisler End 1919-1921 1954 Inducted for his career as a coach at Minnesota, Princeton, and Michigan
Paul Des Jardien Center 1912-1914 1955 All-American in 1913 and 1914
Walter Eckersall Quarterback 1903-1906 1951 Leader of the 1905 national championship team
Clarence Herschberger Fullback 1895-1898 1970 First western player selected as a first-team All-American
Tiny Maxwell Guard 1902, 1904-1905 1974 All-American for 1905 national championship team
Clark Shaughnessy Coach 1933-1939 1968 College football coach for 50 years
Amos Alonzo Stagg Coach 1892-1932 1951 "The Grand Old Man of the Midway"
Walter Steffen Quarterback 1906-1908 1969 Scored 156 points for teams that went 13-2-1; First-team All-American, 1908
Andy "Polyphemus" Wyant Guard, Center 1892-1894 1962 Played 8 varsity seasons of college football for Bucknell and Chicago


See also


  1. ^ "Color Palette | University Communications". Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ "UChicago football set to join Midwest Conference as affiliate member in 2017" (Press release). Athletics & Recreation, The University of Chicago. May 11, 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ Bearak, Barry (16 September 2011). "At the University of Chicago, Football and Higher Education Mix". Retrieved 2018 - via 
  4. ^ "Wash U, Chicago already leaving SAA". June 12, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ "The University of Chicago Athletics" (PDF). The University of Chicago Athletics. Retrieved 2018. 
  6. ^ "The University of Chicago Athletics". The University of Chicago Athletics. Retrieved 2018. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-25. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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